New Delhi: From Home Minister Amit Shah to his railways counterpart Piyush Goyal and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, the biggest names of the central government came together Saturday, the first anniversary of NDA 2, to offer praise to PM Narendra Modi.
In columns published across multiple national and regional dailies, the ministers described Modi as a successful, bold and decisive leader who is also compassionate to the poor. Modi, they said, had led India through several crises, including the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
While the articles also discussed the government’s initiatives like the Citizenship Amendment Act, the scrapping of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir, the banning of triple talaq, and the push for self-reliance or “atmanirbharta“, a significant focus remained on the Prime Minister.
The authors also included Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad and Information & Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar.
Modi first became Prime Minister in May 2014. Under his leadership, the BJP was re-elected to office with a bigger mandate in 2019. The BJP-led NDA government was sworn in 30 May 2019.
As part of the anniversary celebrations, PM Modi also released a letter to the “fellow Indian” where he referred to the day as “golden chapter in the history of Indian democracy”.
ThePrint had reported earlier this month that the government and the BJP will tone down its anniversary celebrations this time as against its earlier anniversaries, which were marked by big-ticket multimedia publicity blitzkriegs.
Modi ‘converted challenges to opportunities’
Home Minister Amit Shah wrote, “Nothing is impossible when there is courage and determination to do something, having a Prime Minister like Shri Narendra Modi.”
He added that the BJP-led central government has implemented every promise in its manifesto, adding that the “decisive leadership of Narendra Modi” has shown a different path to the world to overcome this pandemic.
“In order to smoothly run the economy of the country during the corona crisis, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has awakened the soul of the country by giving a slogan of swadeshi and self-reliance,” Shah said. “At the same time, he has advocated for promoting local enterprises by giving the slogan of ‘Vocal for Local’.”
In the last six years, Shah said, India has moved fast towards becoming a self-reliant nation by “bridging the gap of six decades”, a jab at Congress rule, adding that Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi is the “hero of this journey”.
Javadekar started his piece by saying “Modi ji has led this country successfully for the last six years”, and sought to highlight how “Modi ji cares for masses first”.
“Modi ji brought the country out of this hypocrisy and allowed 74% of FDI into defence production and simultaneously banned import of defence spares and weapons which are made in India,” he wrote.
Law minister Prasad, on the other hand, wrote that the emergence of Narendra Modi as a popular leader of global stature marks an extraordinary milestone in the democratic polity of India.
“Our Prime Minister emerged as a leader with courage and conviction in safeguarding India’s strategic and security interests and India was globally recognised as a country of substance,” he wrote.
Prasad also said “Prime Minister Narendra Modi showed exemplary courage, compassion and commitment” in dealing with the Covid-19 challenge.
Modi, he added, had taken the challenge of Covid-19 to address long-pending reforms to “unleash the creative and entrepreneurial abilities of Indian (sic)” and make India globally competitive.
Prasad said the coronavirus challenge has posed “difficulties of Himalayan proportions”, but due to the “bold and decisive leadership of our Prime Minister, along with the state governments”, India had handled the crisis far better than most other countries.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh drew a parallel between India’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and Modi, saying the latter was only the second leader in Indian history to became the PM twice in a row with a bigger mandate the second time.
प्रधानमंत्री श्री @narendramodi के नेतृत्व में केंद्र सरकार के दूसरे कार्यकाल का पहला साल आज पूरा हुआ। यह साल बड़े परिवर्तन लेकर आया है
— Rajnath Singh (@rajnathsingh) May 30, 2020
He said PM Modi took decisions to their logical conclusion with courage and perseverance. He has increased his own credibility and that of the party in the eyes of the general public of India, Singh wrote.
While the world is facing an unprecedented crisis in the form of the Covid-19 pandemic, PM Modi had shown alertness and competence in fighting it by invoking a lockdown at the right time with complete vigilance.
Modi, he said, had displayed through his tenure that a serious challenge can be converted into an opportunity.
Railways Minister Goyal, who also holds the commerce portfolio, said PM Modi had refused to compromise on India’s interests during negotiations for the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), a proposed free trade bloc for Indo-Pacific nations.
Prime Minister Modi, he said, had the ability to handle a crisis with a “firm and calm approach but with the boldness and courage expected from a true world leader”